Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a proof copy of A Heart So Fierce and Broken!
Grey has fled the castle carrying a terrible secret. When he is discovered by soldiers and returned to Ironrose by force, Grey’s allegiances begin to shift. And as he grows closer to an enemy princess, he is forced to decide whether he will stand against Rhen for the crown he never wanted…
(Spoilers for A Curse So Dark and Lonely ahead!)
After reading A Curse So Dark and Lonely and really enjoying it, I was so excited for the sequel – however, I didn’t expect to enjoy it more than the first book!
Although AHSFAB follows on from ACSDAL, it does follow different characters. This time we see the perspectives of Grey, everyone’s favourite guard, and Lia Mara, princess of Syhl Shallow and seen as an enemy of Emberfall and their people. I loved Rhen and Harper’s story in ACSDAL, but I have to say, I loved Grey and Lia Mara even more.
Grey is on the run, determined not to take his place as King, and Lia Mara is determined to make peace between Syhl Shallow and Emberfall – despite her mother, Queen Karis Luran, and sister Nolla Verin being on the brink of waging war. The two characters are brought together through *unexpected circumstances* and so began a journey story that I, a person who generally is not a fan of journey stories, loved. Whereas ACSDAL was, at its heart, a love story, AHSFAB features a lot more character development, political intrigue, some amazing training montages – and the romance element is still there!
We got to see a lot more of the world in this book after the first instalment was mostly just set in one or two places, and it was interesting to see how Rhen’s curse had affected his country and people, as well as seeing more of the neighbouring countries of Emberfall. With the addition of more locations and more characters, we also saw more enemies and strife – this book was definitely darker than the first and focused more on the horrors of the possible impending war. I definitely feel like this was a bit of foreshadowing to something even darker happening in the third instalment of the series.
Not only did this book feature a favourite trope of mine (enemies to lovers) but it was written in my absolute favourite way – enemies to lovers, who when they’re enemies (or at least expected to be enemies) have a certain respect for each other and the way they act and fight. I won’t say much more but the dynamics of this relationship absolutely made the book for me!
I’m so excited to read more about Grey and Lia Mara – Lia Mara is definitely a new favourite character of mine! I’m sure I’m the sequel we’ll see them meet Rhen and Harper again and I can’t wait to see how that inevitable crash plays out.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken was definitely a build up to something even bigger, but was still on its own an amazing epic fantasy tale full of action and intrigue. I can’t wait to see what happens next!